SANTA CRUZ, Cali – UC Santa Cruz's head men's basketball coach Ron DuBois announced the signing of five players to join the Slugs program in 2016-2017. The signing class consists of all four true freshmen – Ikenna Anigbogu, Sean Gardner, Vinay Narayanam, and Joshua Green - and one transfer - Nikko Quinones.
"We are excited to announce the UCSC Men's Basketball 2016 recruiting class," said DuBois. "Most importantly, all of these five individuals are excellent people and students. Just to be admitted is quite the accomplishment as UCSC had record application numbers this year. The academic profile of our University continues to grow in performance and reputation. Off the court and in the classroom our Men's Basketball team GPA average of 3.3 will be bolstered by this 2016 class. On the court and at KP Arena, these five players will help fortify and continue the positive steps the program has taken setting school records for DIII wins in back to back years."
Ikenna Anigbogu 6'7" Forward
Anigbogu graduated from Gateway High School in San Francisco, CA. He led the team to Bay Counties League Championship and was First Team All-League. A team captain for the 23-6 Gators, Anigbogu averaged 16 points, 10 rebounds and 4 blocks per game.
"Ikenna has the talent and tools to be a successful player here at UCSC," said DuBois. "He is still growing in his game and we are excited for his development at the college level."
Sean Gardner 6'6" Forward
Gardner led St. Bernards High School in Eureka CA, to a NorCal Division VI title. He was named H-DN First Team All-League. He also won a Division V-A State championship as a Lineman on the Football team. Gardner was named the H-DN MVP and named a CIF North Coast Section All State Nominee.
DuBois added, "Sean competed at multiple sports in high school and did nothing but win. He has great feet for his size and his competitive nature will fit right in with our culture."
Vinay Narayanam 6'3" Guard
Narayanam led Santa Clara High School, Santa Clara, CA to the CCS Division II playoffs. He was the team captain and averaged 18 points and 5 rebounds per game. Narayanam was named El Camino Division First Team All-League.
DuBois notes, "Vinay is a long versatile guard, his strong ball skills will suit him well in our style of play."
Nikko Quinones 6'2" Guard
Quinones led La Mirada High School, La Mirada CA to the Division 3AAA playoffs, he also attended Middlebrooks Academy. He was awarded All-League Suburban Selection averaging 8 points and 3 rebounds. Quinones is known as a defensive stopper, always taking the challenge of defending opponents top scorers.
"Nikko comes to UCSC as a transfer student and will add toughness, grit and shooting to the Slugs," said Dubois.
Joshua Green 6'1" Guard
Green was named team MVP and helped American School of Doha (Doha, Qatar) to run away with a MESAC Championship. Josh also dropped 46 points, 37 points, and 31 points vs Bahrain, Al Saad, and American Community School. Green also competed on Global Squad where he made an immediate impact.
DuBois adds, "Josh is athletic and very strong for a guard, we look forward to developing his talent here at UCSC."
The Slugs are coming off a strong finish to the 2015-2016 season and are hoping to carry that momentum into the upcoming year. The Slugs capped off the 2015-2016 season with the most DIII victories in program history. They graduated only one starter, PG Jared Ponce, but will be returning a pair of all-league front court players in AD3I 1st team forwards Will Crain and Sam Gabbard.
The Slugs have scheduled an exhibition game against Arizona State to open the year.